I have long been interested in our perception’s ability to have an influence on the life we live. What we look for we find. What we focus on becomes real. It is the foundation behind the “Secret” the law of attraction. When we believe something we will seek that which validates our beliefs while ignoring the rest. It was with this in mind that I embarked on my 100 days of Gratitude Facebook status updates. I would update my status with things I am grateful for. It didn’t have to be everyday but close to it and it could be anything from the little things to the major things. Anything at all would qualify as long as I was thankful for it.
Gratitude is defined as: the quality of being grateful or thankful. It is the feeling that comes with realizing that things could be worse. People who are grateful exercise more, report fewer physical ailments, are better at setting and reaching goals, and overall have a greater sense of well being. Would you rather hang out with a person who is thankful or someone who bitches about everything? Simply put, the higher you level of gratitude the happier you are in life. The happier you are in life the more things you have to be grateful for. It’s a self-perpetuating energy. The energy of gratitude is like Flubber. Once it get’s going it just keeps on going and going!
Of course, it’s easier said then done. We are each a collection of our past. Our lives, today, are simply a result of the perception of our yesterdays and those will always have an effect on our lives. In order to work towards becoming more grateful you most must acknowledge that the way we perceive things can and does have an effect.
Trying to shift your perception to feel more grateful is often meet with the response that “If I had something to feel grateful about I be more grateful!” It’s the classic act vs. feel argument that people are constantly using as a justification for their misery. “If I felt grateful I would act grateful.” The belief that our actions our dictated by our feelings when in reality they are more closely tied together if not the other way around. Feelings are created by action and it’s action that we have direct control over. William James, a founder of modern psychology sums it up nicely
“Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not.”
By controlling the action we can influence the feeling. By using our will we can begin to change the feelings and perception we have towards the world around and raise our level of happiness. With practice, patience and purpose we can change the way we perceive things and something as simple as gratitude days on Facebook can be a great launching pad. This is why I did 100 days of gratitude. Using my actions to create feelings. You don’t have to do 100, when I started I was going to do 30 but kept on going. Start with 30 and see how you do. I bet you’ll be surprised at the number of things you find you are grateful for and you’ll start to see the world in a different light. By using action you can influence feeling and from there – who knows what else your actions can do?
No one can argue that an airplane may be the most advanced technological piece of equipment that normal people (non NASA) use. One look inside the cockpit and you will see an array of computers and instruments and a dizzying display of tech. On the plane itself flyers are equipped with iphones, ipads, ipod, ipees, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, PSP, DSs, Wii, Us, Thems, Kindles, Sony Readers, Noise Canceling headphones (which ironic enough don’t cancel out sound), and so much more. There is enough tech on an airplane to open up a sky high Best Buy.
Yet for all that power, for all those advanced features when a plane lands and pulls into the gate do you know how the agent meeting the plane let’s the flight attendant know it’s ok to open the door? The knock. A good old fashion rap on the door says it’s safe to open up. No phone call, no text message, no light display, just a knock. Simple as that. There is no need for anything else.
So the question is, how much do you over tech? I will be the first to admit I love me tech. I have enough Apple products to start an orchard but none of them will every come close to the joy of sitting with friends. I can send emails and text messages to people all day but never get the same feeling as a phone call or face to face conversation. Technology is supposed to enhance out lives and sometimes that means not over using it.
Tell me – what piece or type of technology do you over use that maybe you don’t need to?
If you ask an English teacher if Wikipedia is a good source they will most likely inform you that the APA does not consider to be valid. Apparently Candian Customs thinks differently.
As a professional speaker traveling across the border I sometimes get sent to immigration for further questioning after customs cannot wrap their head around the idea of a professional speaker. One occasion I was delayed for close to 3 hours before finally being allowed to enter. Recently I was traveling to St John NB for a few days to speak at a International Round Square Youth conference. Upon landing in Toronto I had to go through customs and after explaining what I was there for was sent along to immigration for further review.
After approaching the young women in immigration I handed her my passport and began to answer her questions about why I was heading into Canada. She seemed a bit perplexed and continued to ask about my speaking, “What do you speak about? How do you get your shows? Who do you speak to?”
I continued to explain and went as far to say I had a video on the Internet that had gone viral and that provided for lots of PR etc. What I did not know is that Canada has apparently adopted the policy to Google the name of anyone they are questioning to see what results pop up.
One search result later I was greeted with this, “Oh! You have a Wikipedia page! Here you go. Come on in!” Wikipedia might not be able to serve as a source for your dissertation but at least Canada considers it safe.
Here’s a basic suggestion to make each day of your life better: Laugh more!
Continue reading ‘Laugh and Laugh Often’ »
I find our societal obsession with celebrity culture to be a combination of hilarious and horrifying. Stroll the magazine section of the bookstore, and you’ll see dozens of magazines dedicated to the constant updating of what the Hollywood elite are doing. If that’s not enough to get your fix, just flick on your TV and enjoy any of the several channels that are entirely dedicated to rich-and-famous goings-on. Did you see who Paris is dating? Do you know what Britney did with her baby? Can you believe that (fill-in-the-blank actress) and (fill-in-the-blank actor) are getting divorced?
Continue reading ‘The Thing about Status’ »